netdvn wrote:My family did Carnival twice (Fantasy both times).
Yes there were obnoxious people on board. Yes the theming throughout the cruise was tacky (this includes the stage props in the shows too).
But I still had a great time. Service was good and despite not being able to hit Bermuda and moving through a hurricane, we still had two ports planned out for us anyway.
I'd probably sail with them again (on a different ship of course) because I had a good time although I'd probably prefer sailing with another line just to see how amazing RCL/Disney/etc can be.
I saw a really interesting talk recently from a maritime historian talking about the cruise market today. In essence he said that Carnival cruise lines (as opposed to Carnival corp. & PLC) exist to provide you with a cruise that's good but not great and make you want to do another cruise but not with Carnival. This with the intention of upselling into the Carnival Corp. & PLC pyramid of lines that offer a better experience (Seabourn, Cunard etc.). Essentially the parent company owns 11 unique brands, one of which is a feeder mechanism to the others.
It's a pretty interesting model, and although I've never heard anyone come out of a carnival cruise with a positive experience, it seems to be working for them :S